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This Is Why You Might Be Losing More Hair After Lockdown

This Is Why You Might Be Losing More Hair After Lockdown

Are you moulting like there's no tomorrow?

Post-lockdown, we've felt like a shaggy dog, with greater numbers of rogue hairs cropping up on our pillows, filling our brush and coming out in the shower.

The hair loss isn't dramatic - we're not talking about clumps - just noticeably more strands than usual.

It's perfectly normal to shed up to 100 hairs a day - so, as a general rule, the sight of a few stray ones shouldn't give cause for stress.

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But there's a reason it's happening more at the moment, according to Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley.

It's perfectly normal to shed up to 100 hairs a day (Credit: Unsplash)
It's perfectly normal to shed up to 100 hairs a day (Credit: Unsplash)

Anabel tells Tyla. "If you were unwell or stressed for a short period, your hair may come out in excess for a few months and then stop on its own, with growth resuming as usual."

She adds that for anyone experiencing increased hair shedding, it's worth playing detective and counting back 6-12 weeks.

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Were you stressed? Ill? Perhaps you were going through some lifestyle changes?

For most people on the planet, the answer to some of those questions will be 'yes', with the pressures of coronavirus lockdown ranging from relocating to job worries and health concerns.

We're guessing that suddenly those stray hairs in your brush won't be such a mystery...

Due to the nature of the hair cycle, this excessive shedding will typically occur 6-12 weeks after the cause (Credit: Pixabay)
Due to the nature of the hair cycle, this excessive shedding will typically occur 6-12 weeks after the cause (Credit: Pixabay)
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"It makes complete sense," says Anabel. "Due to the hair growth cycle, [increased hair loss] is often expected 6 to 12 weeks or so after the period of illness, medication or stress that triggered it.

"Although it can be extremely distressing, rest assured the hair will almost certainly grow back once the underlying issue has been resolved."

*Adds this to the list of 1247583 reasons why coronavirus needs to be banished ASAP*.

Explaining the six to 12 week delay in hair loss from the point of stress, Anabel said: "Telogen effluvium [excessive hair loss] occurs when the anagen (growth) phase of the hair growth cycle is cut short by an internal disturbance in the body.

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"This causes many more hairs than usual to move from their anagen phase into their telogen or 'shedding' phase, resulting in excessive daily hair fall."

To help prevent excessive shedding, avoid excessive styling and harsh brushing (Credit: Unsplash)
To help prevent excessive shedding, avoid excessive styling and harsh brushing (Credit: Unsplash)

While Covid-19 may well explain your hairballs in the shower, Anabel warns that hair loss which continues for longer than three months, could well be "an indication of an ongoing problem".

"It can be either acute [short-term] or chronic [recurring / continuous] depending on the cause and the severity of the disturbance to the body."

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Hair health is closely interlinked with general health - eating well, managing stress levels and getting enough sleep are key (Credit: Pixabay)
Hair health is closely interlinked with general health - eating well, managing stress levels and getting enough sleep are key (Credit: Pixabay)

Of course, there are any number of causes for excessive hair shedding, and if you're concerned, you should book a trip to a trichologist, who will try to determine the reason by looking into medical history and lifestyle.

Some other triggers include crash dieting, certain medications, hormonal contraceptives, thyroid conditions and an iron deficiency, among other issues.

Trichologists may also recommend blood tests to build a picture of health and nutrition to identify the root cause.

For now, there's plenty you can do in terms of your lifestyle, diet and beauty regime to help prevent excessive hair shedding.

Anabel's top tips to help prevent increased hair shedding:

1. As hair health is closely interlinked with general health, looking after yourself is key - eat well, try to manage your stress levels and get enough sleep.

2. Hair growth is also dependent on the condition of the scalp, so taking steps to optimize the health of your scalp is also very beneficial. Care for your scalp in a similar way to your face; cleanse (i.e. shampoo) frequently, tone your scalp daily with a scalp toner and use a weekly exfoliating scalp mask to help remove dead skin cells.

3. A flaky scalp can cause hair loss. If you experience dandruff take measures to clear it quickly. We suggest using a daily anti-microbial shampoo and scalp toner.

4. Avoid excessive heat styling and harsh brushing.

5. Take a nutritional supplement which supplies all the minerals and micronutrients the body needs to support healthy new hair growth.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Topics: Beauty, Life, Hair, Health

Mary-Jane Wiltsher

Mary-Jane Wiltsher is a freelance lifestyle and culture journalist. Elsewhere she writes for Stylist, Euronews, PHOENIX and What We Seee.